Top Countries & Industries Luring Global Talent: A LinkedIn Study Reveal

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Top Countries & Industries Luring Global Talent: A LinkedIn Study Reveal
Image credit: ISchmidt / Shutterstock
Data & Featured Lists Editor
4 min read

New data from LinkedIn shows certain professionals are moving away from countries like India and flowing into places like the United Arab Emirates.

The career networking platform analyzed its membership of more than 380 million to determine where global talent is moving. The LinkedIn global migration study reviewed every member profile updated with a new job and location from January 2014 to December 2014 (not accounting for nationality, visa or citizenship status.) The results provide a snapshot of which countries, industries and roles are attracting workers and white collars.

The United Arab Emirates topped the list for the second year in a row, gaining 1.89% as a percentage of its total workforce. This is more than double for second runner-up Switzerland, with gains of 0.90%, followed by Saudi Arabia at 0.85%.

“The UAE is very interesting because the country’s doing a lot to diversify job opportunities in that region and it’s beginning to show in the data,” says Sohan Murthy, head of Research, Data Analytics and Strategy at LinkedIn, adding that workers flocking there are usually employed in tech, financial services and engineering.

Related: Industries Driving the Top 10 Small Cities for Business Owners 

Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn MENA (Middle East North Africa) writes that these findings fall “in line with the most prominent areas of growth in the UAE – Smart initiatives are on the rise, the financial sector is booming, and construction is experiencing a high with the preparations for Expo 2020 and the strong economy.”

Meanwhile, India lost the most professionals in 2014 with an outflow of -0.23%, followed by France (-0.20%) and Italy (-0.19%).


Analysts found that the UAE and India, the two countries topping and bottoming the migration ranking, respectively, are very closely linked in terms of volume and direction of talent. Says Murthy, “The top country in which members emigrated from to the UAE was India. Many of them were working in tech firms as well as professional services firms like IT consulting and management consulting.”

He says that overall, tech and telecom play a prominent role among the most active migration countries. “Tech as a sector is growing globally and provides for a lot of jobs that pay well and allow members to relocate internationally,” he explains.  

Top sectors as a percentage of total membership that relocated internationally in 2014

  • Technology - 21%
  • Professional Services - 15%
  • Government/Education/Non-profit - 13%
  • Financial Services & Insurance - 11%

Source: LinkedIn Membership Data

While these fields resonate, Murthy says it’s important to note that each of the countries gaining talent have unique aspects about their economies. For instance, Saudi Arabia’s oil and energy sector creates demand for consultants and project managers while Switzerland’s notable retail industry lures sales and marketing specialists. 

To learn more about the leading countries and which industries and sectors are driving workers to those regions, check out the slideshow of top 5 countries attracting global talent below:

  • United Arab Emirates
    Image credit: Shutterstock
    • Top industries - Technology, Financial Services, and Engineering Firms
    • Top occupations - salespeople, marketing specialists, project managers , corporate finance specialists, accountants, consultants, and mechanical engineers
  • Switzerland
    • Top industries - Professional Services, Technology, Retail & Consumer Products, and Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals
    • Top occupations - salespeople, software developers , marketing specialists, consultants, project managers , research/graduate assistant, business/corporate strategist
  • Saudi Arabia
    Image credit: Shutterstock
    • Top industries - Architecture & Engineering, Oil & Energy, Technology
    • Top occupations - salespeople, software developers, consultants, business/corporate strategists , marketing specialists
  • Singapore
    Image credit: Shutterstock
    • Top industries - Technology, Financial Services & Insurance, and Professional Services
    • Top occupations - salespeople, construction/civil engineers , manufacturing/mechanical engineers, project managers, quality assurance/system testers, construction/maintenance tradespeople
  • Germany
    Image credit: Shutterstock
    • Top industries - Technology, Professional Services, Aeronautical/Automotive/Transportation
    • Top occupations - salespeople , software developers, research/graduate assistants , consultants, marketing specialists, and project managers

Related: Tony Robbins: Could Moving Be the Answer?

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